Nina’s Travels – Mui Ne

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Mui Ne Sunset

As most of you already know, all of my work is hand-crafted in beautiful Vietnam, my birthplace.  I have an office in Denver, CO and all of my jewelry is hand-made in Saigon.  I split half of my year in the states and half of the year in Vietnam.  I absolutely love to travel and find myself creatively inspired on all of my journeys.  This recent excursion was no exception.  While in Saigon I decided to treat myself to a quick weekend getaway in the gorgeous beach town of Mui Ne.

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Mui Ne Sand Dunes

Fifteen years ago Mui Ne was just a small, sleepy fishy town that was barely a blip on the map with only 25,000 residents.  Today it is a bustling resort town where you can find tourists swimming, surfing, sun-bathing, or shopping.  Kite surfing has recently become an avid pastime as well.  It’s been on my bucket list for a while and I’m so happy I made the trek out there last month.  Three hours and $6 (USD) on the bus will bring you this gorgeous stretch of beach, only 10 kilometers long.

 

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Crystal clear waters of Mui Ne

I went with one of my dear friends and our hotel was $20 (USD) or only $10 each!  That is the part I love about traveling in my home country, the cost of living is a dream.  Our hotel was super cute, low key, yet posh and situated right on the beach.  We also made sure to hit up Joe’s, The Art Café, a surfside restaurant that is the only establishment in town that stays open all year.  They have live music every evening.  It’s a perfect ending to a magical day, sitting outside slowly sipping on a beer while the sounds of crashing waves can be heard softly in the background to some chill local tunes.

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Kite surfing in Mui Ne

If you ever make it out this way, I highly recommend checking out The Fairy Stream.  This low water level stream has a soft current that allows for an adventure of discovery at any pace you choose.  You’ll find toddlers stop to stare and play in tidal pools, teenagers swimming, lovebirds sitting on a rock with their feet dangling in the water, but most of all you’ll find the peace and serenity you’ve been searching for.

 

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Calm, peaceful beach of Mui Ne

During this last excursion I felt a tremendous amount of pride for my country.  While I’m a dual citizen, it’s the heartbeat of Vietnam that stirs me and always offers tons of creative ideas.  I’m extremely proud of my Heirloom Collection which is a celebration of my heritage and hopefully embraces the beauty and magic of all lands far away.

 

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Nina Nguyen Designs, Heritage Collection

Nina Nguyen Aztec Earrings, 14kt, blue opal, moonstone

Opals – The Stone of Lightning

Boulder Opal

Boulder Opal

Originally opals were deemed as evil and bad luck. They were associated with sorcerers as they closely mimic the luminescence of cats’ and toads’ eyes. Over time the connotation for this precious gemstone shifted significantly. The Bedouins believed that opals arrived to us through thunderstorms as they had tiny bolts of lightening captured inside. I like this theory the best as you see flashes of light reflecting off the stone. Any of you fellow opal addicts know exactly what I mean! The Romans believed opals were the most powerful stone of all since they captured the rainbow of color found in all the existing stones. I believe, much like the Europeans, that opals are the stone of hope, purity and truth.

 

Nina Nguyen Aztec Earrings, 14kt, blue opal, moonstone

Nina Nguyen Aztec Earrings, 14kt, blue opal, moonstone

October’s birthstones happen to be two of my favorites: tourmaline and opal. I’ll be sharing more about the magic of tourmaline next week, but for now I’d like to focus on this stone of lightening. Not only are they gorgeous, but they happen to be one-of-a-kind. Boulder opals are a vibrant blue that mimic fingerprints in the sense that no two are ever alike.

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Nina Nguyen Calypso Earrings, silver, various opals

Birthstone gift giving is a tradition carries over from ancient times, when the metaphysical properties of stones were accepted as facts. Between then and now a lot of debate has raged on, hence the reason that you’ll often find not one, but two stones chosen for every month of the year.

 

Nina Nguyen Ambrosia Necklace, 14kt, blue opal

Nina Nguyen Ambrosia Necklace, 14kt, blue opal

No matter what you believe there is no denying that opals always capture your eye’s attention. Their glow is powerful, strong and never subtle. They make a perfect gift for an October baby or for anyone who loves the magic and power of beautiful jewelry.

National Puppy Day: Its a Druzylicious Pawty

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Today, March 23, is National Puppy Day! It is no secret that we are dog lovers here at Nina Nguyen Designs. Our company mascot (and second in command) is our fierce and stylish monkey, Baci. Baci is a huge part of our Nina Nguyen family (as we are sure your dog is in yours!) and we adore her. Aside from her daily bacon, endless walks, and belly rubs on demand, we are always looking for more ideas to show her how much we love her!

What better way to show your pup some love than throw an awesome puppy pawty? Check out our marketing and event coordinator Amy’s puppy party. This critter inspired party was full of yummies for the puppies, a ‘puppy and me’ photobooth, and a few human treats as well.

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The party featured a treat bar with doggy bags for the owners to fill up and bring home for their pups. All the treats were homemade with nutritious and dog friendly ingredients.  Check out the menu below.
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The Puppy Pawty Menu:
Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Cupcakes  – Used cupcake tin and frosted w/ peanut butter.
Peanut Butter & Bacon Treats – Used the Carob Frosting from the Donuts to dip half in.
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Guests and their humans got to enjoy not only food and treats, but also had a fun time dressing up and making silly faces for a puppy photobooth.
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While the party was mainly for the critters, human guests each got a few party perks. While enjoying the sun and watching their puppy friends play they got to sip on some puppy themed beers and wine.
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Each guest also was given a set of coasters featuring a geometric illustration of their pup!

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For more pictures and details visit Amy’s original post here: A Diamond Mind Blog

Wrap yourself in Happy with a Harmony Birthstone Necklette

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If you’re looking to give a gift (or gift yourself!) a special piece of jewelry in the near future, then you might want to consider the Harmony Birthstone Necklette.

Birthstone jewelry makes a great gift, something unique and personal that carries a story and the promise of beautiful things to come.  Want to know more about birthstone jewelry?  Then this blog is for you!

The history of birthstones began centuries ago, with the creation of sacred breastplate of Aaron.   Aaron was the brother of Moses, and became the leader of the Levitical tribe of Israel.  Aaron’s sacred breastplate was adorned with 12 gemstones, and a connection was made between those 12 gemstones to the 12 months of the year and then the 12 signs of the Zodiac.  The Hebrew names for the stones on the breastplate have proven difficult to identify with any certainty as different translations of scripture identify different stones.

While ancient, traditional birthstones were society-based, in 1912, the modern birthstone chart was born when, in an effort to standardize birthstones, the American National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas and officially adopted a list, which, with some slight modifications, is still used today.

Throughout history, gemstones have been believed to hold magical and therapeutic powers.  Because gemstones come from the earth, each one has a special vibration.  Gemstones and crystals each have a unique structure and composition, which gives each one a particular vibration rate and quality.

Harmony, an extension of the popular Nina Nguyen Designs “Wisteria” Collection, is a fashionable, fun and affordable way to add gemstone jewelry featuring birthstone gems, to every woman’s jewelry wardrobe.  The exclusive Necklette design is available in a variety of gemstone choices, including Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, White Topaz, Emerald, Moonstone, Ruby, Peridot, Sapphire, Pink Topaz, Citrine and Blue Topaz.

The versatility of this latest collection, enhanced by the ombre beads and resort feel, creates a sense of wrapping yourself up in happy, when slipping one (or more!) of these pieces on.

HARMONY WAYS TO WEAR

Jewelry from the Harmony collection is also a great choice for Mother’s Day, Graduations, Holidays, and any special occasion when you want give a personal, thoughtful gift.

For more information on Harmony, or any of the Nina Nguyen Designs Collections, visit Nina-Nguyen.com, email info@nina-nguyen.com or call 720-459-7664.

Have a Spring Fling with Harmony!

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We’re celebrating Spring, 2015 here at Nina Nguyen Designs, and are excited to announce “Harmony,” a beautiful addition to the Nina Nguyen Wisteria Collection.
Harmony embraces the best of the 2015 jewelry trends, including layering, the beauty of natural stones and beaded jewelry, which unite to create THE fashion statement piece your jewelry wardrobe can’t live without!
Available in a variety of gemstone choices including Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, White Topaz, Emerald, Moonstone, Ruby, Peridot, Sapphire, Pink Topaz, Citrine and Blue Topaz, Harmony features the exclusive “Necklette” design, a favorite of Nina Nguyen jewelry fans. A fabulous hybrid between a beautiful, bold necklace and a bracelet, the Necklette easily allows for fashion forward versatility  which is a huge plus for fans of the Nina Nguyen brand.
Harmony features an ombre mix of 4mm Rondel gemstone beads in a variety of colors that lend themselves to mixing, matching and layering. Want to go for a bolder effect? Stack or entwine several of your Harmony favorites together to create a dazzling gemstone “Collar.”
 
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And don’t forget the arm candy! The exclusive Necklette design makes every Harmony necklace instantly able to convert into a delicious rainbow of fun for your eyes and your wrist.
Ready for Harmony? Start your collection now!

Tulum

Long stretches of spectacular coastline, pristine water, confectionary-sugar sands for relaxing. Local live music for night life, a foodie mecca and Mayan ruins dramatically situated on a 12 foot cliff for adventure.
Tulum has everything I could have wanted, and is one of my top beach vacations.
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Tulum is a small Mayan town that stretches between white sand beaches and the rich and vibrant rain forest.
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Tulum is also known world-wide for its deep history, lively culture and unique charm. Visitors don’t soon forget the mixture of serenity, beauty, history and adventure.
20150119_105119Sitting just meters from the second largest off shore reef in the world, and home to hundreds of cenotes (natural swimming holes) and with thousands more near by, the marine life and water adventures of Tulum have been tantalizing visitors for years.
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Between its breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea, the ruins and swimming peacefully in one of the amazing cenotes in the area, Tulum is one of the best beaches I’ve visited.
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Where the Leaves Change

The cascades of colorful leaves and warm breezes of Colorado got me in the mood to bask in the glow of my favorite season. The fall season is a transitional time of year, the changes in weather are obvious, but some changes are more subtle.

Silver bangle, Vermeil Bangle, layering accessories

I want to get cozy and buckle down for the inevitable transformation to winter, and of course to enjoy the outdoors in all of its colorful glory.

Druzy necklace, druzy ring, drussy photoshoot

 It also reminds me to get started on large projects and tackle everything on my bucket list. One thing I know for sure, autumn comes and goes so fast, I want to savor every delicious moment.

layering necklace, work wardrope, foliage fashion.

All Jewelry by Nina Nguyen Designs of course!
Blazer by J Crew
Dress by Free People 

Stackable Pallas Druzy Bangle
Stackable Geode Bangle